Gopher Broke

The other bad stadium deal

The biomedical authority legislation passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 51-15. Even Rep. Abrams, the author of the Gopher stadium bill, acknowledged that biomedical facilities were a greater priority for the future health of the U than the stadium during the legislative session just ended. Yet despite the show of support, this obviously crucial bill stalled in the Republican House. Eventually, money for just one of the five biomedical buildings was approved.

Adam Turman

Asked point blank if passage of the Gopher stadium bill affected the fate of the biomedical authority bill, the university's CFO, Richard Pfutzenreuter—who once worked as a fiscal analyst at the Capitol—replies, "Is there a great scorekeeper adding it all up? Yeah, there are smart people and they have many pressures for who does or doesn't get funds. It certainly played into the scheme. We had a stadium bill that was hanging there ready to go, and we wanted to get it out of the way so we could focus on academic issues. But is there a certain thinking that, 'What did MnSCU [the state college system apart from the U of M] get, compared to what did the U get?' Sure, it goes on. It would be foolish to think it doesn't."

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